Gig tickets have doubled in price since the ’90s

New BBC study looks at ticket price increases for arena gigs

A new study has found that gig tickets have doubled in price since the late 1990s.

The study, conducted by BBC 5 live’s Wake Up to Money, looked at data from the National Arenas Association, which monitors prices across 21 major UK music venues.

It found that, taking inflation into account, prices have risen by 27 percent. In 1999, the average arena gig ticket cost £22.58 (or £37.20 in today’s prices), compared to £45.49 in 2016 (£47.14 today).


In 1998, a ticket to see Spice Girls at Wembley Stadium cost £23.50 (£39 today), whereas tickets to see Taylor Swift at Wembley this June range from £55 to £120.

John Corr of Sound Moves commented on the findings: “People complain about the cost of the tickets… but when they understand the scale of what goes on in the background they begin to get an understanding of why we’ve got to the cost we have.”

“People’s expectations keep rising – do they want a musical performance or do they want a show? With Beyonce, when the Formation tour was announced, demand was huge and they extended it in the US.”

“What had been a predominantly ocean [freight] solution to get it to the start of the European tour in Sunderland needed to have increased air freight… We flew five 747s, which was the core show, into Prestwick and two 747s of stage components into Doncaster.”

Meanwhile, the Music Venue Trust has said that the average cost of a “grassroots” gig has remained at around £8 for the past 20 years.